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Janet Roberts

Readers Respond: Offbeat Promotion Ideas
By Janet Roberts

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Last week, I handed the editor's chair over to readers and asked for some offbeat newsletter promotion ideas to help a reader who needed some fresh ideas.

Here's the background:

Debbie Weil (Wordbiz Report):
"Here's an easy tip that will help him increase his subscriber base more quickly. Put that sign up link in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. And, most importantly, make it a fill-in form, not just a text link. That gives a visual call-to-action that's hard to miss! I moved my sign-up box to the upper right-hand corner a while back, and sign-ups immediately doubled. Recently I made the box even bigger. Hope this helps and good luck."

Angela Saunders:
"Has Hal thought about a downloadable gift for every (x) number of sign-ups from recommendations, existing subscribers or even new subscribers? Gift of scrolling desktop theme or screensaver of waterway pictures which advertise the many glorious features that he promotes. This, from a UK reader who would love the chance to visit the waterways firsthand."

Several readers recommended the viral-communications route, with an offer to anyone who recommends a certain number of names to contact.

Paula Sirois had a variation:
"(A) sweepstakes - tell his existing client list to enter all their family/friends to win a free trip there. Airlines - copromotion with local airline carriers (people need to fly to get out there). Hotels ditto."

Although we were looking for low-cost promo ideas, Jim Nannen recommended pay-for-placement search engines like Overture and Google:
"Carefully selected search terms may not be expensive, can be bought for as little as 5 cents per click and if worded properly will probably limit most clicks to those with the greatest likelihood of subscribing."

Many suggestions followed the free-offer format. However, one publisher found out that offering a unique thing, as opposed to a downloadable giftie, has its own hazards. Tune in tomorrow for that harrowing - but humorous - account.

Ezine-Tips for March 20, 2002

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